Upcoming smartwatches 2021: Exciting wearables we're waiting for

Our list of confirmed smartwatches coming this year
The most exciting upcoming smartwatches
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Smartwatches are the hottest property in tech right now, and there are plenty of upcoming devices to get excited about.

As we close out 2021, there will be a host of few and exciting devices hitting our wrists. The Galaxy Watch 4 with Wear OS has just been released, and of course, the Apple Watch Series 7 will continue to lead the way.

Read on for our round-up of the upcoming smartwatches we're excited about.

Check our smartwatch reviews

Apple Watch Series 7

ETA: 15 Oct 2021

Apple Watch Series 7

The Apple Watch Series 7 is now official, with overhauled screen tech and a tweaked design. It's certainly an interim update, with no headline new features or wellness sensors to get stuck into.

While pre-launch rumors hinted at a radical new design, Apple has only subtly changed the overall look and feel, but it has grown slightly to 41mm and 45mm.

The screen tech is the biggest benefactor, bringing the edges of the display closer to the bezels. The Series 7 has just 1.7mm borders around the display, that enables a 20% larger screen area than the Series 6, and 50% more than the Series 3, which remains on sale.

The corners of the Series 7 have been softened and rounded, with finishes that refract light for a sleeker finish.

The larger screen size means you can see 50% more text on screen, and Apple has added an on-screen keyboard for text input, including QuickSwipe predictive input.

And there’s a new selection of watch faces exclusive to Series 7 too.

Sadly there’s no boost in battery life. It’s still single day, although Apple has improved faster charging. 45 minutes on charge gets you 85% battery, and 15 minutes will get you through a night’s sleep tracking.

And while we did get rumors of a rugged Apple Watch, the Series 7 uses a tougher from crystal and increases dust protection to IP6X. It retains WR50 water resistance, making it good up to 50 meters.

TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS

ETA: October 2021

TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS

Mobvoi’s 2021 update to its flagship range is a sizeable update – and brings a more refined look and some new health features.

The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra looks more stylish with the etched bezel. However, the dimensions haven’t changed at all.

The Pro 3 Ultra retains the 47mm case, 1.4-inch screen with the impressive 454 x 454 resolution at 326ppi.

It boasts the usual dual-layer display from the Pro range that turns the AMOLED screen off to show a low-res FSTN screen. That, in conjunction with the dual processor that runs alongside the Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100 chip, means the Pro 3 Ultra still offers 72 hours of battery life and 45 days in a low power mode.

The new Pro 3 Ultra is tougher with US Military Standard 810G toughness

But it’s the new HR features that catch the eye.

It adds irregular heartbeat and AFib detection, ‘mental fatigue assessments’, and it will keep tabs on energy levels.

There’s GPS built in and 20 sports tracking modes, along with NFC payments via Google Pay.

It still runs Wear OS, although it will ship with Wear 2.0. Mobvoi hasn’t confirmed that it will be upgraded to Wear 3.0 in 2022, like the existing TicWatch Pro 3, but this is surely a given.

Amazfit GTR 3 Pro

ETA: October 2021

Amazfit GTR 3 Pro

The GTR Pro 3 was one of a trio of new smartwatches launched by Zepp Health under the Amazfit brand.
The Amazfit GTR 3 Pro is an all new addition to the range, and crams a 1.44-inch AMOLED display, into a package the same size and weight as the 1.39-inch standard GTR 3.
Amazfit labels the display an "Ultra HD" 480 x 480 display, which admittedly is pretty damn high. It does offer a marginally higher PPI than the GTR 3 at 331ppi.
The new generation BioTracker 3.0 is responsible for heart rate, blood oxygen, breathing rate and stress level detection.
And you can do a one-tap measure of key biometric data, which will record your heart rate, breathing rate and SpO2 in one scan.
And the Pro version adds a speaker, Wi-Fi, music storage and Bluetooth calls for the first time – and these features aren’t available on the GTR 3 or GTS 3.
It will cost £199 – a significant increase from Amazfit’s usual pricing.

Amazfit GTS 3 and GTR 3

ETA: October 2021

Amazfit GTS 3 and GTR 3

The GTR 3 Pro kind of eclipses the duo of the GTS 3 and GTR 3, which are incremental updates to the GT 2 smartwatches.

The round-faced GTR 3 offers the same 450mAh battery as the Pro version, but can last 24 days between charges, according to Amazfit. It’s smaller at 1.39-inch, and has lower display-case ratio, so there's more bezel and a smaller display.

The square-faced Amazfit GTS 3 is designed for those looking for the best screen going. It packs in a 1.75-inch AMOLED display, with a 72% screen/case ratio and the highest PPI at 341ppi. It’s also the lightest at 24g.

The standard GTR 3 and GTS 3 miss out on the speaker, Wi-Fi and ability to make calls from the wrist – but otherwise have the same excellent feature set, with GPS, 150 sports modes and the BioTracker 3.0 all on board.

It’s a fairly iterative update of the GTR/GTS range, which have long been favorites here at Wareable, for those looking for a great mix of features and price. The hardware changes here do look like a decent improvement – but we’d like to see the Zepp app and Zepp OS mature to become great smartwatch companions.

They will cost £159.99 and are on sale now.

Withings ScanWatch Horizon

ETA: November 2021

ScanWatch Horizon

The ScanWatch Horizon brings the same features as the existing ScanWatch – but in a diving watch aesthetic.

The 43mm smartwatch features a laser-engraved rotating bezel and luminous hands, with green or blue faces.

There’s the same OLED display to show activity data and notifications – and the secondary activity goal dial. It also costs €499 – so it retains the reassuring expense of a true diving watch.

Withings has upped the water resistance to 10ATM, so you can take it snorkelling or swimming.

Elsewhere, it offers the same features as the ScanWatch, which has just been cleared for release in the US.

Key features are ECG and sleep apnea detection, both of which are certified by the FDA and CE in Europe.

Elsewhere is heart rate monitoring, step and activity tracking, some excellent sleep monitoring – and you can take it for a run using Connected GPS, although on-watch feedback is non-existant.

It also costs €499 – so it retains the reassuring expense of a true diving watch.

Oppo Watch Free

ETA: October 2021

Oppo Watch Free

The Oppo Watch Free joins the existing Oppo Watch, and is designed to be a cheaper, sportier smartwatch than the Oppo Watch (and Oppo Watch 2). However, like the Oppo Watch 2, it's only announced for China right now.
It’s a dead ringer for the Huawei Watch Fit, with a tall rectangular shape, and identically-sized 1.64-inch AMOLED display, curved 2.5D glass and a 326ppi density.
The heart rate monitor has SpO2 capabilities, so it will read blood oxygen data. And there are 100 sport profiles although no built-in GPS.
Sleep is also a big focus, and Oppo has added snoring monitoring to its standard tracking of duration and quality of your slumber.

It’s far cheaper than the Oppo Watch series of smartwatches. The Watch Free has a price tag of CNY 549 ($84). The Oppo Watch 2 costs CNY 1,300 (about $200/€170).

Fitbit Charge 5

ETA: Now

Fitbit Charge 5

The Fitbit Charge 5 is now official, and available for pre-order ahead of its "Fall 2021" release date. It's a major overhaul of the Fitbit Charge line-up, both in terms of design and features.

It follows the Fitbit Luxe by introducing a stainless steel case and AMOLED display, which makes it far more wearable, and pleasing on the wrist.

But it's packed with sensors that makes the Charge 5 a mini-smartwatch in its own right.

It brings ECG, the EDA stress sensor and GPS to the band, alongside the standard set of advanced sleep, stress score, Active Zones Minutes and all day heart rate tracking.

There's skin temperature and the new Daily Readiness score, which assesses how well rested you are before recommending workouts. Both of these are cleverly calculated from personal baselines, tailored to your personal physiological profile.

And it retains seven days of battery life, and Fitbit Pay.

Read our full guide to the Fitbit Charge 5.

Fossil Gen 6

ETA: September 2021

Fossil Gen 6

The Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch has been fully announced, alongside a new generation of Michael Kors Access devices, too.

They will be the first smartwatches powered by Qualcomm's newest Snapdragon Wear 4100+ platform.

However, they will not run the new Wear 3 from launch. Like the TicWatch Pro 3 and E3, the new Fossils will be upgraded to Wear 3 at an unspecified point in 2022. The new version of Wear OS will be a boost for Fossil, bringing new features, (supposed) better usability, (allegedly) longer battery life and Fitbit-based activity tracking.

The Gen 6 comes in seven different looks for both men and women, covering those who prefer a sportier look or something better suited to formal occasions. There's the option of 44mm and 42mm case sizes with both featuring stainless steel cases that measure in at 11.5mm thick.

Both host a 1.28-inch, AMOLED touchscreen display, and like previous Fossil smartwatches, feature a rotating crown and two programmable pusher buttons.

It brings adds an SpO2 sensor to monitor blood oxygen levels

In terms of battery life, you can still only expect 24 hours, but fast charging means it will only take an hour to full battery. And 30 mins will get you 80%.

Read our full guide to Fossil Gen 6.

Honor Watch GS3

ETA: Announced in China only

Honor Watch GS3

Honor has officially teased its new Honor Watch GS 3 smartwatch in China. The news came via an official Weibo post, accompanied by plenty of pictures – but there's little info on specs or features.

The Weibo post shows off a host of straps and finishes – gold, silver and gun metal with several different leather bands.

The only details are that the Watch GS 3 will feature an “eight-channel PPG heart rate monitor,” which the company claims is enhanced by an AI processor.

These are publicity renders, so things can (and usually do) look less impressive in the flesh – but the Watch GS 3 certainly catches the eye in terms of thinness and the lack of bezel.

It's certainly one to watch – but given it's not out in China yet, it could be a while until it hits the US/Europe (if at all).

Whoop 4.0

ETA: September 2021

Whoop 4.0

The new Whoop 4.0 is here – and it's smaller, more powerful and has the potential to be worn on more places open the body.

The Whoop 4.0 is 33% smaller than its predecessor, and now includes a pulse oximeter to monitor blood oxygen levels and a skin temperature sensor.

Sleep features have also been expanded, with a new sleep coach that uses haptic alerts to wake you up at optimal times based on sleep cycles and sleep time advice.

Quoted battery life is the same 5 days delivered by the Whoop Strap 3.0.

Whoop has also announced its new Body range – with apparel such as bras, pants, leggings and sleeves designed to put Whoop in more accurate and comfortable places on the body.

Realme Watch 2

ETA: On sale in Malaysia now / Global TBC

Upcoming smartwatches 2021: Exciting devices we're waiting for

The Realme Watch 2 is now real and it seeks to pack in more features into a budget body than its predecessor that launched in early 2020.

It maintains a square look and features a 1.4-inch TFT 320x320 TFT touchscreen display. There's now up to 90 sports modes an optical heart rate monitor and an SpO2 sensor to monitor blood oxygen levels. It's also promising up to 12 days of battery life.

Once again though, this is one that will only work with Android phones. It's gone on sale in Malaysia for MYR 229, which works out to about $55.

That's not far off the $50 the first Realme Watch costs, so if it does launch further afield it should stick around at that budget price point.

ZTE Watch Live

ETA: On sale in China now / Global TBC

ZTE Watch Live

The ZTE Watch Live sees a return to smartwatches for a company that dabbled in Wear OS and is now joining the likes of Xiaomi and Mobvoi's TicWatch GTX in serving up a smartwatch that's much kinder on your bank balance.

The square Watch Live packs in a 1.3-inch 240 x 240 TFT screen, which doesn't sound all that impressive. It does find room for the a heart rate monitor and an SpO2 sensor to take blood oxygen measurements.

There's the presence of 12 sports tracking profiles and there's the promise of anywhere up to 21 days of battery life, which gives it pretty impressive staying power on paper. You can also expect smartwatch staples like notification support, incoming call alerts and weather forecasts.

Priced at 249 yuan, that puts it around $38 and that's pretty cheap for a smartwatch. We'll be intrigued to see if this one makes it out of China sometime in 2021.

Zepp Z Titanium with ECG

ETA: On sale in China now / Global TBC

Zepp Z Titanium with ECG

Huami, which also makes the Amazfit brand watches, launched its Zepp E Square and Zepp E Circle watches and followed up with the more luxury-looking Zepp Z in November, which we are currently testing.

It's since announced a Zepp Z model in China that includes a desirable feature in the way of an ECG sensor. That means it matches the likes of Fitbit, Apple, Samsung and Huawei in offering medical grade-style heart rate readings with the view of detecting abnormalities in the heart among other more serious heart health insights.

Like its ECG-packing rivals, it's only available in China right now, so it remains to be seen whether it will launch elsewhere as it'll need to wrap up the appropriate regulatory approval to set the feature live.

ECG aside, it offers all the same features as the Zepp Z model available outside of China. That includes Huami’s BioTracker 2 PPG module to deliver optical based heart-rate monitoring, SpO2 tracking and stress detection wrapped up in classic watch styling, now with a fancier titanium alloy.

Google Pixel Watch (rumored)

ETA: October 2021

Google Pixel Watch (rumored)

It's the rumored smartwatch that has never gone away and with Google's acquisition of Fitbit, that speculation has surfaced once again.

The latest leaked information suggests it will be called Google Pixel Watch and the render above is based on what that leakster claims the smartwatch is going to look like.

Codenamed project 'Rohan' at Google HQ, the Pixel Watch will apparently feature a round, bezel-less look and will have 20 strap options. It's expected it could launch in October, which is usually a month Google chooses to launch new hardware.

We expect it of course to pack Wear OS, which has struggled to really impress. Google will surely hoping the Fitbit effect will help change that in time for when the Pixel Watch drops.

Moto G / Motorola One / Moto Watch (rumored)

ETA: MIA

Moto G / Motorola One / Moto Watch

It looks as if the Moto 360 is coming back for a 4th generation – this time with three different versions: Moto Watch, Motorola One and Moto G.

CE Brands (a company that licences and reboots trusted brands) is behind the launch – two years after a misfiring attempt to bring back the Moto 360.

The Moto G looks to be getting a release first, with widely leaked materials indicating a June 2021 release date. Those materials suggest a Snapdragon 3100 powering Wear OS, with 1GB of RAM and 8GB storage. It’s very much the Moto 360 reimagined, out for a fourth generation.

The Moto Watch looks to have a square design and a passing resemblance to the Apple Watch.

And the Motorola One seems to be a premium version better materials, and more rumors suggest it will run the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform. Both the Moto Watch and Morotola One are set to be launched in July 2020.